evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) , -kyü-ˌāt\
evacuated; evacuating

Definition of evacuate

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of : empty
2 : to discharge from the body as waste : void
3 : to remove something (such as gas or water) from especially by pumping
4a : to remove especially from a military zone or dangerous area
b : to withdraw from military occupation of
c : vacate sense 1 were ordered to evacuate the building

intransitive verb

1 : to withdraw from a place in an organized way especially for protection
2 : to pass urine or feces from the body

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Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \ i-​ˈva-​kyə-​ˌwā-​tiv How to pronounce evacuative (audio) , -​kyü-​ˌā-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for evacuate


clear, empty, vacate, void


fill, load

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Examples of evacuate in a Sentence

People who live along the coast are being evacuated as the hurricane approaches. During World War II, children were evacuated from London to the country. Residents were ordered to evacuate the building. Residents have been ordered to evacuate.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Some residents, however, are not taking chances, and are choosing to voluntarily evacuate... Oliver Darcy, CNN, "News outlets prep for Tropical Storm Barry," 12 July 2019 No communities are currently being asked to evacuate. Jeff Parrott, Anchorage Daily News, "Fire updates: Hess Creek fire continues to grow, Swan Lake fire conditions improve," 11 July 2019 According to Coursey, the river and a brook that runs behind one campground overflowed, causing at least two dozen campers to evacuate. Adam Sennott, BostonGlobe.com, "Thunderstorms trigger flash floods in parts of N.H.," 11 July 2019 Shell called the effort precautionary to secure its drilling operations and to evacuate people, but most of the oil and gas production will continue. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Shell evacuates Gulf platforms as disturbance strengthens," 9 July 2019 The man went back into an apartment, and officers tried to evacuate the rest of the tenants on the same floor, police said. Kaylee Remington, cleveland.com, "Man dead in officer-involved shooting in Brooklyn, police say," 9 July 2019 In June, about a foot of raw sewage and wastewater backed up in the Barbour Gardens complex, forcing the city of Hartford to temporarily evacuate 29 households to a hotel. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "Nonprofit wins grant to support Hartford residents leaving failed subsidized housing projects," 9 July 2019 Police were able to evacuate Abiodun who is in stable condition at an area hospital, according to the sheriff’s office. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "One in custody, one hospitalized after Saturday morning shooting in Columbia Heights," 6 July 2019 There are no plans yet to evacuate the survivors from Tajoura. NBC News, "Migrants trapped in Libya face deadly choices on land, at sea," 5 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evacuate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of evacuate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for evacuate

Middle English, to draw off morbid humors, from Latin evacuatus, past participle of evacuare to empty, from e- + vacuus empty

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Dictionary Entries near evacuate






evacuation hospital


Statistics for evacuate

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for evacuate

The first known use of evacuate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for evacuate



English Language Learners Definition of evacuate

: to remove (someone) from a dangerous place
: to leave (a dangerous place)
medical : to pass (solid waste) from your body


evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \
evacuated; evacuating

Kids Definition of evacuate

1 : to leave or cause to leave a place of danger Residents evacuated the burning building.
2 : to make empty : empty out
3 : to discharge waste matter from the body


evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈvak-yə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \
evacuated; evacuating

Medical Definition of evacuate

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of evacuate an abscess
2 : to discharge (as urine or feces) from the body as waste : void

intransitive verb

: to pass urine or feces from the body

Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \ -​ˌwāt-​iv How to pronounce evacuative (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on evacuate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with evacuate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for evacuate

Spanish Central: Translation of evacuate

Nglish: Translation of evacuate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of evacuate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on evacuate

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something desired as essential

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